Post-demonetisation, the Indian government's push for a cashless economy came as a boon for the online shopping e-commerce websites. In addition to the variety of products available at a click of a button and vast payment options, online shopping also saves our time by saving us from traffic and the trouble of physically visiting multiple shops. Seeing this increase in online shopping numbers, the Indian government has now decided to map the online shopping patterns of Indian consumers, according to a report in ET.

As a part of its next consumer expenditure survey, the Indian government would now have a set of questions that would aim to gauge the consumers' spending habits in the Indian subcontinent.

According to a government official speaking off the record to ET, the main reason for this move is that some Indian government data managers now believe that online shopping spending is beginning to hit critical masses and is therefore necessary to be included in the national economic data base.

Conducted by National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) under the Statistics Ministry, the consumer expenditure survey provides household level data on spending patterns across commodity and service categories in both urban and rural areas in the country. The next consumer expenditure survey is scheduled to start in July this year and continue till June 2018.

Starting next month, the survey, which aims to understand if online prices can impact inflation in the future, will cover almost 1.2 Lakh households across 5,000 urban blocks and 7,000 villages in India. It will provide state-level data as well.

According to a latest study conducted by Red-Seeer Consulting, India’s ecommerce sector was worth $14.5 billion in 2016, which is a considerably small size when compared to India’s total retail spending of a whopping $750 billion. However, the Indian e-commerce market, which is currently the fastest growing e-commerce market in the world, is expected to grow even more rapidly in the coming years.

This growth will be a result of a number of factors such as a young demographic profile, increasing Internet penetration and relative better economic performance. According to a Bank of America Merrill Lynch report in 2015, the Indian e-commerce market will reach $220 Bn by 2025.

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